Tag Archives: Jon Hamm

Who’s laughing now?

I haven’t watched Cooking Channel much at all, but a commercial for Cutthroat Kitchen caught my eye.

Host Alton Brown is always good for a laugh.

Cutthroat_Kitchen_LogoIf you haven’t seen the show, four professional chefs compete in cooking challenges while Alton Brown sabotages them.

But there’s a catch.

He actually gives each chef money at the beginning of the game so that they can bid to sabotage each other, making the timed competition even more challenging.  The eventual winner keeps whatever money he has left at the end of the game.

As the episode comes to an end, I realize it’s not for me.

It reminds me too much of hazing…or those degrading initiation days that some of my high school clubs subjected new members to freshman year.  The folks in charge are laughing, but it’s more mean-spirited than funny.

Just ask Jon Hamm. That stuff comes back to bite you in the butt.

Simpler times

I never watched Sesame Street as a kid.  I was all about Captain Kangaroo.  I loved the Captain, Mr. Moose, Mr. Green Jeans, Dennis the Painter, Magic Drawing Board.

Plus, we didn’t have cable till I was in my teens.

But I have to admit — Sesame Street’s lineup of stars for its 43rd season is pretty impressive: biggies from movies, TV and sports — Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy, for example — and a Supreme Court judge.

They’re even doing a parody of Downton Abbey.  I hope those bloody kids appreciate it.

I don’t remember Captain Kangaroo playing the celebrity card.  When I Google the show, it lists the stars he had on the program from time from time.  But that’s not what I remember.

I remember the cartoon “Tom Terrific.”  Ping pong balls dropping from the sky.  The Captain reading stories.  Conversations with Grandfather Clock.  Dancing Bear.

Man, I wasn’t nearly as shallow when I was young.

Killer enthusiasm

This morning I saw Jon Hamm featured in a promo on AMC for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather.”  Apparently the cable channel plans to show Parts I and II on Turkey Day, and Hamm was talking about how much the series of movies means to him.

Oh, what a different story I would tell.

When I first saw “The Godfather,” I thought it was a great movie, too.  I’m not a big fan of Mafia subject matter, but you can’t deny the performances.

But then I took a college class in film criticism, and my instructor was a huge “Godfather” fan.  He liked the movie so much, we spent six weeks — count ’em, six weeks — dissecting every word and gesture and thought and whisper in that film.

His enthusiasm for that movie killed any warmth I might have felt for it.  I can’t  even look at it anymore.

The very strains of “The Godfather” theme music make me physically ill.

The only reason I could watch the promo for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather” is because Jon Hamm was so prominently featured.

We can only hope that whack professor doesn’t ever do a class on “Mad Men.”

King of cameo

Move over, Jon Stewart.  Stephen Colbert, this is the word:

Brian Williams, anchor of “NBC Nightly News.”

We know he’s funny.  He was the first news anchor invited to host “Saturday Night Live” …and he killed it.  Now he’s popping up everywhere, adding his dry wit all over the television lineup.

In case your DVR isn’t quite as active as mine — hey, TV viewing makes you more well-rounded — here are some choice scenes from recent weeks you may have missed.

  • On last night’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Brian ‘slow jammed’ the news headlines with Jimmy and the Roots.  See how Brian counters a shot at his manhood from Jimmy.
  • Last Thursday, Brian popped up again on Jimmy Fallon, this time to pay homage to guest Jon Hamm.  (Apparently, Brian is a big “Mad Man” fan.)  The entire episode is online; Jon pops up — complete with Brian cameo — at the 19:00 mark.
  • Brian even crossed the aisle and visited “Late Show with David Letterman” last month, where David tortured him about doing Jay Leno.  Be sure and watch the entire clip — the ending is classic.

I’ve even spied him doing shtick on the plaza on “Today.”  A cameo from Brian is a hit every time.

Brian, if it were up to me, you would be the host for tonight’s season premiere of “Saturday Night Live”…but since the show went another way, I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed that you’ll ‘pop up’ later this year.


I hope the people who make movie trailers actually go to the theater and watch the audience reaction.

It can be a real eye opener.

Case in point:  I went to “Inception” last night — what a wild ride that was — and saw two new trailers before the show:  one for “The Town,” one for “Devil.”

“The Town” stars Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.  Set in Boston, it tells the story of a group of bank robbers, a bank manager they get involved with and the FBI agent who tries to take them down.  The trailer said it was from “the director of ‘Gone Baby Gone.'”

“Devil” puts a group of apparently random people in a high-rise elevator and stalls it.  Then all hell breaks loose.  There are no real name stars in the film; the trailer just touts it as being “from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.”

Two interesting choices.

The first trailer did not specifically name Affleck as its director.  Did they suspect there might be negative connotations?  Some holdover from his earlier work in “Gigli” or “Jersey Girls?”

The second — which I think had the audience until this point — elicited groans and laughter when they threw M. Night Shyamalan’s name into the mix.  The movie appeared to lose all credibility with those three little words.

So, if anyone is listening — I think a teeny edit to the “Devil” trailer could make a big difference at the box office.

And M. Night — the slogan for “Devil” is “bad things happen for a reason.”

Try to keep that in mind…okay?

Kiss and tell

During my self-imposed quarantine this weekend due to cold contagions, I re-watched the comedy classic “Kissing Jessica Stein.”  Hard to believe that flick is almost a decade old.

If you haven’t seen it, Jennifer Westfeldt plays the title role of a young, single Jewish woman in New York City who, after a rash of unsuccessful dates, answers a personal ad in the Women Seeking Women section.  She subsequently meets Helen, another single woman who has decided to pursue women to ‘fill out’ her life experience.

Hilarity and much complication ensue.

Watching the movie again, it was surprising to see the one-and-only Jon Hamm — who is also Westfeldt’s long-time boyfriend — appear in a very small part.

When the movie came out in 2001, Jennifer Westfeldt became a star, and appeared on Broadway, in a short-lived TV sitcom and some other guest roles.  But now, Hamm’s star is definitely the one on the rise, with “Mad Man” all the rage and four movies in production this year alone.

Wonder what kind of effect this role reversal is having on their relationship.

Is it terrible that I assume the worse?  Or maybe I just like the idea of Jon Hamm back out on the market.

Don’t we all?